2009. Fox Searchlight Pictures (20th Century Fox), Fox Home Video, Color, Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1, 112 minutes, Rated R
Release Date: December 16, 2009
Crazy Heart is available at Amazon.com on DVD and Blu-ray.
Movie Synopsis: A slice-of-life look at a down-and-out, bad ass country singer and the journey he takes as he gains the courage to look at himself and his life in order to survive... and to live and play, another day.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Jack Nation
Director: Scott Cooper
Thoughts on the Movie:
I didnt know that to think about Crazy Heart. There was so much hype about it, connected to Jeff Bridges winning every acting award in the Universe, that I had my doubts... Ive been let down by movies with too much hype too many times. But that was not the case here. Crazy Heart is simply wonderful. And Bridges finally got the Oscar that he so truly deserved. Thats almost enough right there, but Ill continue.
This film is rich with honesty, guts and truth. Life is hard, and guys like Bad Blake really know it. In some ways, its painful to intrude into this mans busted up life, but its like one of those train recks you just have to take a look at. Its not that bad really; his life, I mean. Bad Blake is modeled after the type of real-life musician who just deconstructs along the way... weve seen it so many times. But by watching this character, you know that despite his bad ass demeanor and dont give a shit talk, hes really a good person inside. A quality human being who fell down the slippery slope. At least thats what I want to think. A really good movie; I didnt want it to end. ~Jean
Spare Room Bowling Alley Facade, outside Espanola, New Mexico
Once an old abandoned Indian casino building, the production company for Crazy Heart turned the front of the building into a bowling alley called the Spare Room. Bad Blake shows up here for a gig at the beginning of the movie.
Right: Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) arrives at his next gig, at the Spare Room bowling alley just outside Espanola, New Mexico.
For anyone who has driven the River Road from Santa Fe to Taos, it is hard not to notice this structure approximately 5 to 10 miles north of Espanola on the right side of the highway. I always asked the question, What was that place? as we sped by. I assumed (and am still assuming, since I have been unable to get any information from people in the region about the structure) that it was an old Indian casino, as it was the type of building that housed those establishments in the earlier days before the more elaborate casinos and resorts were built by the various Northern New Mexico pueblos in the 2000s.
About Espanola, New Mexico:
Espanola, New Mexico (population 10,495; elevation 5,595 feet; 36° 0 7 N, 106° 3 53 W) is located about 25 miles north of Santa Fe on State Highway 84. Incorporated in 1925, Espanola is situated in an area that Juan de Onate declared a capital for Spain in 1598. Espanola has been called the first capital city in America. It is in a valley nestled between the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges, and the meeting point of three rivers, the Rio Grande, the Rio Chama, and the Rio Santa Cruz.
Right: In a scene from Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges drives in the high desert country of Northern New Mexico.
Lodging & Dining:
For Recommended Hotels, Motels and Lodges in the Santa Fe area, see: Santa Fe Lodging
Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor.
Jeff Bridges won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion PictureDrama.
Jeff Bridges won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role.
Jeff Bridges won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.
Jeff Bridges won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor.
Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song.
Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett won a Golden Globe for Best Original SongMotion Picture.
Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
Right: Jeff Bridges seems quite pleased, as he poses with the Oscar he won as Best Actor for his role of Bad Blake in the 1999 award-winning film, Crazy Heart.
The entire film was shot in only 24 days. Other locations used in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area include Bishops Lodge, the old St. Vincents Hospital, and the Santa Fe Opera.
The film was based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Cobb.
Ryan Bingham, who plays Tony (the musician Bad talks to at the bowling alley) is a real-life rising country-rock star. Bingham co-wrote The Weary Kind with T-Bone Burnett and Binghams recording of that tune won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Jeff Bridges has always been musically inclined, and from his teen years on wanted to be a musician, rather than an actor, despite the fact that acting was the family business with Dad (Lloyd), Mom (Dorothy) and Brother (Beau) all having followed that line of work. Jeff actually released an album titled Be Here Soon in 2000 (with help from Michael McDonald and David Crosby), almost a decade prior to Crazy Heart.
Left: Jeff Bridges poses with the Mayor of Espanola, Joseph Maestas, in front of the Spare Room location outside Espanola, New Mexico.
Robert Duvall previously appeared in Tender Mercies (1983), in which he, too, played an aging, down-and-out country music singer. Both he and Jeff Bridges received Best Actor Oscars for their respective roles.
Director Scott Cooper quipped to Jeff Bridges that, had his character Bad Blake been a real-life musician, he would have been the fifth member of The Highwaymen, alongside Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. So true!
In preparation for the climactic concert scene, writer-director Scott Cooper approached country singer, Toby Keith, about filming a live segment of the movie during Keiths half-time break at Albuquerques Journal Pavilion. The production crew had 10 minutes in which to film Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell performing in front of five cameras and an audience of 12,000 fans. Coopers insistence on an element of surprise paid off, when the audience went ballistic upon discovering the unexpected star guest spot. Farrells appearance on stage further fueled the mass hysteria as cell phone cameras lit up the auditorium. The whole extravaganza was up on YouTube within a matter of hours.
Character Quote: Son, Ive played sick, drunk, divorced, and on the run. Bad Blake hasnt missed a goddamn show in his whole fucking life. ~Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges)